Zion National Park Without Zion Canyon

By wasatch | May 21, 2021
North America > United States > Utah > Zion National Park

In the best of times-- pre-covid-- getting into Zion Canyon was difficult. Now, it borders on impossible (see Tip Critical Planning for Zion National Park ) which raises the question, ‘Is Zion national park worth a visit if I can't get a reservation for the shuttle bus into Zion Canyon? ' If your planned trip is only to Zion National Park, probably not, but if a visit to Zion national park is only part of itinerary, most likely yes. Zion National Park is worth a visit even without Zion Canyon.

On a scale of * to ****, the Zion Canyon Drive scores *****. Driving UT Rt 9 across Zion National Park also scores *****. Kobob Canyon scores ***. Lunch al fresco in Springdale is actually inside the widest part of Zion Canyon****.

UT Rt 9 connects I-15 to US Rt 89. Any 10 mile long segment of this 50 mile long drive would be a national park in any state east of the Rocky Mtns. Rt 9 is a mountain road, and mountain roads are always worth driving in both directions. Why is a road through a canyon a mountain drive? Consider the view of the North Face of the Eiger, which is best seen from Kleinescheidegg. That great mountain scene is about 3,500 vertical feet of bare rock. So is Zion Canyon at its deepest. The top drive on Rt 9 is going east to west from the East entrance to Zion National Park to Zion Canyon Road in the early morning light. Going west to east is best done in the afternoon, especial late afternoon as the shadows deepen.

Other nearby sights:

  • Grafton Ghost Town; Kolob Reservoir Road, the view of the Hurricane Fault rift valley from the top of the cliff above La Verkin,

Further afield (abut an hour from the start or end of Rt 9:

  • Snow Canyon State Park
  • Coral Pink Sand dunes State Park
  • Angel Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Red Canyon (UT rt 12)
  • Scenic UT Rt 14
  • Virgin River Canyon (I-15)
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  • Brian Head Peak-- 11,300 ft. Above the tree line. See all the way to Nevada.
  • Quail Run State Park

None of the photos are from Zion Canyon, all are from UT Rt 9 inside the park

Things to do United States Utah Zion National Park Mountain National Parks North America

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Written by wasatch
1st international trip: 1965. ~57 EU vacations. Visited 6 continets. Extensive USA travel. You can email me at kb1942@yahoo.com

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